Today in Sunday School we read from Paul’s epistle to the Romans:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This phrase hit me with great force.
Who shall separate [you] from the love of Christ?
Who can come in between you and the love you have felt and can feel from deity? Sadly, the answer is: only you.
God loves His children. However, we do not always love our Father. We alone hold the power to separate ourselves from the love of God.
Paul later reaffirms, “God is faithful.” As if he knew that “men’s hearts [would] fail them” and that “the love of men [would] wax cold.”
Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
And he does. Do we open to door, or have we chosen to separate ourselves?
The power of the “love of Christ” is no more readily evident, than in a baptismal service. Today, I had the privilege of participating my first baptismal service performed totally in spanish. After the baptism was performed and the church members had given their welcome, something very untraditional happened. The woman who had received the baptism was invited take the floor and share anything she wanted. My eyes became moist as I listened to this new “Hermana” express in her beautiful Latin tongue the events and feelings she had experienced which led her to this moment of her life. You could see the love of Christ in her eyes and in her actions.
I have witnessed baptisms of many friends in my life, and with shocking consistency the effect is immediately the same. Heads which have hung low for so long are lifted up. Hope and faith are restored in their life. A new light shines in their eyes: their newfound hope in Christ. They now more fully experience the love of Christ. They finally have been able to build the bridge over the great divide between them and their God.
Who can seperate them from this love? From this life? Only they can. God is faithful, will you be?